School Board set to vote on reopening plans at Nov. 19 meeting

Charlottesville Superintendent Rosa Atkins on Thursday evening recommended that the School Board vote at its Nov. 19 meeting on the division’s in-person reopening plan.

Atkins made a presentation to the School Board and based her recommendation on the COVID-19 committee that was tasked to come up with the division’s in-person return to school plans. 

Under the COVID-19 plan, the division is expected to start offering in-person instruction starting in mid-January to students from prekindergarten sixth grade. Four of the five days each week would be in person and one day would be virtual. Instruction would be offered to middle and high school students in person two days a week, and three days would be virtual. 

Parents will have the option to have their children remain virtual entirely. Intent forms for in-person instruction have been sent to parents, and city schools officials are expected to get responses by Nov. 13. 

Although the School Board likely will take vote on the in-person plan on Nov. 19, board members are scheduled to meet again on Dec. 16, where they could take a second look at the city’s COVID-19 metrics to “affirm or make adjustments” to the reopening plans timeline, according to Atkins’ presentation. 

“We all realized we are in the most difficult situation now. Our priority in the school system is to return our students to face-to-face learning in the safest — our students and our staff —  in the safest manner possible at the most appropriate time,” she said. “And safety has to be our No. 1 priority when considering returning to face-to-face learning.” 

Before Atkins reached her recommendation on Thursday, the School Board on July 30 voted to reopen the schools virtually for the first nine weeks. A month later, the school officials also said they were in talks to reopen the schools in October. Here’s a highlight of what has happened: